Welcome to the Recounting Huronia Community Archive
This archive of photography, institutional records, interviews, and artwork is meant to help people understand the history of the Huronia Regional Centre and other institutions like it. First and foremost this archive is for survivors who might be looking for information about Huronia. It is also for family members, caregivers, students, researchers, and members of the general public who want to know more about what life was like inside Huronia.
This archive was created by a group of institutional survivors and allied researchers and artists. This group originally called the Recounting Huronia Collective, began to meet in 2013. Together, the Collective visited the Huronia facility grounds, collected artifacts, created art, and shared stories. Much of the Collective's work has been collected here on the archive.
These profiles were created by an in collaboration with survivors using archival items that they hand-picked to tell their story. Some biographies include moments from before they entered Huronia, the trauma experienced while there, and how they have fought against institutionalization. These portraits show what survivors want you to know about themselves.
Collections organize archive content to make website navigation easier. They include photography of the Huronia Regional Centre grounds, donated institutional records, and artistic collaborative work created by the Recounting Huronia Collective.
Artists and scholars from the Recounting Huronia Collective worked with archive materials to curate online exhibits. Their artistic interpretations offer ways to understand and contextualize Huronia's legacy.
Materials presented in this archive have been gathered through research projects that received university research ethics boards' approvals. This archive also required project-specific ethical data practices that foreground the unique needs of survivors of institutional violence. Redactions in resident records in particular were done in a deliberate effort to protect the confidentiality and dignity of contributors. Ongoing conversations with survivors ensure that archive exhibits reflect and centre their experiences. These ethical considerations informed our work of digitizing, organizing, and curating content.
Archive accessibility is important to this community and in that spirit accessibility upgrades are ongoing. We welcome feedback for improvements.
Sensitive Material Warning
The Huronia Regional Centre was a place where many people suffered terrible forms of cruelty, sexual and physical abuse, and injustice. This means that some images, descriptions, and stories on this archive are disturbing and upsetting. Encountering this content may produce many different kinds of reactions, like anger or sorrow. During your visit on this site, it might help to remember that the Huronia survivors involved in this project are asking for an audience, and want a public reckoning with their lived experiences of institutionalization.